2016 Argentina Post-Qualifying MotoGP Press Releases

Press releases from the MotoGP teams, including reaction to the news from Michelin on tires:

Fantastic third Argentine pole for Marquez, Pedrosa fourth

Marc Marquez clinched a fantastic pole position today, his third in a row in Argentina, while his Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa posted a very close fourth-fastest time to put him on the second row.

Marc had already set the pace in both FP3 and in FP4, during which he alone had managed to lap under the 1’40 barrier. That session was red-flagged twice after Scott Redding suffered a rear-tyre issue that is still under investigation by the Michelin technicians.

Two laps into the qualifying session, Marc set the fastest time of the day at 1’39.411. He suffered a small crash during his second attempt, and although he was uninjured, he was unable to lower his mark. Dani steadily improved his pace throughout the course of the day and missed a front-row spot by less than a tenth of a second, setting the fourth-best time of 1’40.011.

The race will start tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. local time

Marc Marquez

Pole Position 1'39.411

"I'm happy with how the bike is going and with the pace we have. Tomorrow it will be vital to choose our rear tyre well, because with the soft I feel very good but I do not know if we can use it. We will have to wait for the decision from Michelin. We know what my crashes today were due to; the first was down to changing the setup but the second was because we pushed too hard. That is what happens in the qualifying session. Tomorrow we'll give everything we have in the race".

Dani Pedrosa

4th 1'40.011

"The grip level of the track has improved today. There was more traction than yesterday and although we have advanced in terms of pace, we will continue working to go faster and be more consistent tomorrow. With such an improvement in grip, we have to find a setup that best suits these conditions. Tomorrow we will start from fourth place and try to have a good race."

UPDATE: Argentine GP to be raced with new tyre spec

Due to a rear-tyre failure involving Scott Redding during today’s FP4 session at the Argentine GP, Michelin has made the decision to not make either rear tyre available for tomorrow’s race, siting concerns for safety. Instead, a special-compound tyre that is brought for such occasions will be introduced. Four of these tyres will be made available to each rider in the MotoGP field.

In order for the teams and riders to adapt to the situation, Race Direction has added an extra 30-minute free-practice session before the normal 20-minute warm-up session.

Update Schedule

Free Practice: 09h00-09h30

Warm-Up: 10h40-11h00

Race (25 laps): 16h00

Marc Marquez

Pole Position 1'39.411

“After this decision from Michelin, I think that tomorrow will be a bit of an unknown because everyone will have a different tyre spec from what we’ve used for the whole weekend. We’ll wait and see how it works. We’ll have two warm-up sessions, one of 30 minutes and the other 20, to gather information, and we’ll have to see if everything goes well. Let’s hope there won’t be too many differences from the tyres we’ve been using so far.”

Dani Pedrosa

4th 1'40.011

“Michelin has decided to change the rear tyre with one that we don’t know. Clearly it’s an unknown, and for this reason we’ll have an extra session but most probably with less temperature in the asphalt comparing with when we will race. We don’t know how it will work or which setting we’ll choose. We can’t say a lot until tomorrow, when we’ll see how this new tyre works.”


Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo made a step during a tense second day in Argentina. Rossi waited until after the chequered flag went out to take second place on the starting grid at the Termas de Río Hondo Circuit. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo continued his impressive pace from the third free practice in the afternoon and rode his Yamaha YZR-M1 to a third place starting position for tomorrow‘s Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina.

Termas de Rio Hondo (Argentina), 2nd April 2016

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi had his fans at the Termas de Río Hondo Circuit cheering today when he qualified second for tomorrow‘s Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina. Doubts on tyre choice didn‘t slow down teammate Jorge Lorenzo either. He gave a solid performance during the tense 15-minute session, taking third on the grid.

Tension ran high in the paddock today as the fourth free practice session was red-flagged and re-started twice, due to safety conditions after Scott Redding had an incident whilst riding with the softer option, medium rear tyre.

Rossi used the delayed final minutes of FP4 to get back into rhythm again, in preparation for the time attack during the ’Qualifying 2‘ session, which was pushed back by a little more than half an hour.

The Doctor bided his time at the start of the qualifying session to avoid traffic. The nine time World Champion soon dropped a 1‘40.791s to move up to fourth position. Unable to improve on his second try he was pushed back to eighth place, but he soon responded by picking up the pace. Riding on the edge, he was one of just three riders to dip under the 1‘40s mark with a 1‘39.988s lap for second place, before quickly returning to the box with five and half minutes remaining.

One and a half minutes later he was back on track to pick up the pace. Though Rossi didn‘t beat his personal best time thus far on his fourth flying lap, he kept his head down. Having been pushed back to third by teammate Lorenzo after the chequered flag came out, he set a 1'39.786s on his final attempt, cutting the margin to the man in pole down to 0.375s as he returned to second place.

When the FP4 session was restarted for the second time, teammate Lorenzo headed out for the final four minutes of the session, but a slide down the track in turn one meant he was forced to start ’Qualifying 2‘ on his second bike.

Despite the earlier commotion the Majorcan kept his trademark focus when the 15-minute qualifying session kicked off. He was the first rider to come out of the box and needed little time to put the hammer down. His first hot lap was a 1‘40.574s for provisional second place and he immediately returned to the pits for a fresh rear tyre with more than nine minutes left on the clock.

The current World Champion was pushed back to fifth and found a clear space on the track for his second attempt to improve his starting position. Dropping a hot lap of 1‘40.140, he shot up to third place in the standings to make a second stop with four minutes of the session remaining. A little more than a minute later he made his way out of pit lane and had just enough time left for a final try. At the time holding fourth place, he dropped a hot lap of 1‘39.944s to reclaim third position, 0,533s off the front.

Tomorrow the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP teammates will continue the action at 10:40 – 11:00 (local track time) in the morning warm-up session, followed by the race at 16:00.



Today was challenging because it was filled with many questions about the settings, grip provided by the tarmac and tyres allocation. We got positive feedback since the beginning of FP3 so we could improve consistently throughout qualifying. Valentino and Jorge did a really good job today, being continuously fast in all the sessions. Even though they had different strategies for qualifying they both set good times and considering the issues we had yesterday, a double front row start is a very satisfying result. The solid teamwork paid off and we still have the opportunity to better the set up for tomorrow. We still have to decide on the tyre we will use for the race based on further information that we might receive from Michelin. We expect a hard race but we have the pace to be competitive at the front so it should be an exciting battle to watch.



1'39.786 / 8 LAPS

Last year in Qatar and also here in Argentina the qualifying was bad, but on the other side the races were fantastic. Now we have done a good qualifying, but the race will be tomorrow. Anyway I‘m quite happy because we worked well on the bike and also the track improved a lot today, we can push more and also have a good pace. I think battling with Marquez will be hard because he is faster, but I‘m not so bad and the most important thing is to fight for the podium and make it a good race. About the hard rear, we need to wait for Michelin‘s decision and try to understand which tyre we should use.”



1'39.944 / 8 LAPS

Today we got a better day overall and we could make some important improvements with the set up and especially the track improved a lot so we had a very good first session. Unfortunately in the afternoon during FP4 a tyre issue put the session on stand by, due to the red flag and after that I crashed so we lost the opportunity to swap the bikes in the qualifying, but despite this the first row was the main goal and we were able to achieve it so I‘m quite satisfied. Let‘s see what happens with the tyre allocation for the race, but I think we are ready to fight. I would like maybe to use the medium tyre. If we have to ride with the harder option we will have less grip but we will do well.”



Position: 2nd - Best time: 1'40.392 - Laps: 18

It seems we have found a better pace when the asphalt delivers more grip, and our bike reacts much better. Compared to yesterday we made a big step forward and I also found myself more comfortable with the bike, and this resulted in a good pace throughout the entire session. Now it‘s time to fix the last small details to get a perfect bike for this afternoon‘s qualifying. I will try to be on front row, that is crucial to make a good race.


Position: 10th - Best time: 1'41.101 - Laps: 20

This morning it was a good practice because the track improved a lot, same as the bike, and the pace was not so bad. We still have to decide which tyres we‘ll use for the race. Unfortunately at the end of the session I was not able to improve the lap time with the soft tyres but I was lucky enough to finish in the top ten. This afternoon we will try to improve the pace and make a strong qualifying.

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Prepares for Amended Argentina GP Protocol

Following a rear-tyre failure involving Scott Redding's bike that occurred during the Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina's Free Practice 4 session, Michelin, Dorna, IRTA, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP and all the MotoGP teams held a meeting to determine a cause of action for tomorrow's race.

With safety being the highest priority, the decision was made to remove both the medium and the hard rear tyre specification from the allocation at the Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit for the remainder of the Argentine GP. The compounds will be replaced with four extra "special" rear tyres.

Movistar Yamaha Team's Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo look forward to utilising the additional 30-minute warm-up session to the maximum to adapt to the new situation.

Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

"We respect the decision of Michelin and IRTA that aims to maximise the safety of the riders. The well-being and security of our riders comes first for us, before anything else. Luckily we'll have an additional 30-minute session during which we will do our outmost to adapt the bike to the new tyre. We have no other options so we'll try our hardest to achieve the best possible performance with this tyre. We already know that compared to the ones we have been using so far, the new tyre will have a lesser performance, but this goes for all riders. We hope the weather is favourable from the morning session until the race."

Valentino Rossi

"This new allocation changes the situation a lot, because I thought they would pull the soft tyre and we could race with the harder option, but unfortunately we have to race with a tyre that we never tried before. With this decision we have to start from zero, so we have to hope that tomorrow morning in the half hour warm-up we can understand the situation and that this tyre is safer. Everybody is in the same boat, so we will see what happens tomorrow."

Jorge Lorenzo

"It's a very strange situation that I've never encountered before. Unfortunately we had some issues in the recent past and it's definitely not a comfortable situation for the riders and the teams, but things are like that. I have great respect for Michelin and for the efforts they have put in these last few months to improve the 2016 tyres. Even considering this last inconvenience, I'm sure they will keep on working because safety is the first priority in racing. Tomorrow the race will be extremely difficult. We'll have to start from zero but at least this is the same for all riders. Let's see how it goes tomorrow morning."

Row 2 start for Ducati Team riders in the GP of Argentina at Termas de Río Hondo with Dovizioso fifth and Iannone sixth on the grid

Following qualifying, both Ducati Team riders will start Sunday’s Grand Prix of Argentina, the second round of the 2016 MotoGP World Championship, from row 2 of the grid.

In the afternoon’s all-important Q2 session, Andrea Dovizioso was able to clock the fifth quickest time on his second run, while his team-mate Andrea Iannone was one place behind in sixth.

During FP3 in the morning, all the MotoGP riders managed to improve their times, and Iannone (third) and Dovizioso (ninth) were thus guaranteed their slots in Q2.

The final free practice session, not valid for the overall results, took place before the two qualifying sessions. Iannone was second quickest and Dovizioso sixth in FP4, which was interrupted by red flags towards the end after a crash by Redding.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’40.198 (5th)

“Today was an important and positive day: we found the track to be in a better condition than yesterday and the feeling with the bike is now very good. We managed to improve above all the front and so now I can push a lot harder. It’s not going to be easy to stay with the leaders in the race, in particular Marquez and Rossi, but seeing as all the sensations are good, we really must try to do so. We may also have to take into consideration the conditions tomorrow, because every day here in Argentina the track changes, and so we’ll have a good look at the situation during the warm-up.”

Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 1’40.272 (6th)

“I have to say that this afternoon I struggled a bit: for sure we could have scored a better result but unfortunately I was not able to do a perfect lap. Oh well, tomorrow it will be important to make a very good start and so for sure we’ll be focusing on that. We have to be ready for everything, because it will be a race where it’s not that clear what the actual performance values of everyone are. We are not that far off the pace, and if we manage to improve a little but more, the race could become really interesting.”


Team Suzuki Press Office – April 2.

After transferring directly to Q2, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaró finally qualified respectively in 7th and 11th places for tomorrow’s race at the GP of Argentina.

The morning session saw both riders very competitive again on the tricky track of Termas de Rio Hondo, improving their lap-times and GSX-RR set-ups, being consistently in the top-10; and finally getting the Q2 direct access, thanks to the 1’40.796 for Viñales and 1’40.893 for Espargaró.

Qualifying was a little harder for the Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders, as they struggled to find the same competitiveness as earlier. Viñales didn’t feel totally comfortable and therefore not able to perform as well as he did in previous sessions. But his best lap of 1’40.375 puts him on the third-row of the grid.

The positive improvements done by Espargaró throughout the weekend allowed him to find a good set-up to be faster than his 11th place, but the feeling with his machine is solid and the fourth row, where he will start from, will allow him to recover and get closer to the top.

Tomorrow’s plan will be changed with an additional warm-up session at the beginning of the day. Following an accident occurred with British rider Scott Redding, for safety reasons, Michelin decided to retire all the rear tyres actually deployed to the teams and to supply, for tomorrow, four tyres with a different structure and compound. These new tyres have been tested by none of the MotoGP™ riders, which makes the day interesting.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“Towards tomorrow’s race, we still have some work to do and will have to see how to set-up the bike quickly for the new tyre that Michelin is going to provide us. Our riders have never tried them, but neither have the other MotoGP™ riders, therefore the situation will be equal to everyone. This track is already revealing to be very peculiar, due to its conditions, and these new tyres will add variables to our job: this is why we still need to stay focused and work at our best to deliver effective bikes to both the riders. However, the starting positions are not bad, Maverick is in seventh which is a good position that would allow to make a good race close to the top. Aleix made a very positive improvement, he got the direct access in Q2 and he starts 11th - which is not so bad if we manage to deliver him a good configuration as he will be able to catch the group and maybe recover. We now have to finalise a competitive package and hope for a good race for both.”

Maverick Viñales:

“The qualifying result is for sure not what we were expecting from this morning: In the afternoon I couldn’t feel confident with the set-up and this prevented me getting onto the first or second row, which in my opinion was possible. On the other hand I must recognise that if we don’t feel ok at all and indeed we are seventh, it’s not a bad result. The place on the grid is not so bad, as it is close to the top and allows a recovery, therefore if we manage to find a better set-up and find back my confidence, I’m sure we can still have a good race, as I feel good with the pace. I’m a little disappointed by the fact that in Qatar we were so fast to adapt and find efficiency, while here we are having more issues. Anyway, my team is doing a very good job, we can for sure improve and be faster, so I’m confident we can have a good race. The track conditions this year are very tricky, it is so hard to find the grip and anywhere outside the line is very slippery. This requires very wise riding and being aware of this we will have to find a perfect set-up to be effective on the line.”

Aleix Espargaró:

“We have made a good step forward since Qatar and this leaves me very positive; I feel more confident with the bike and even though we are not close enough to fight for the Pole we are getting closer. On my side we have to work some more on the set-up to find even more confidence with the front and finalise a good set-up for the race. Eleventh place is not where I aim to be, but for the moment, it’s a good place and I believe I can recover some positions if I manage a good start and keep the touch with the front group.”


The drop in temperature the riders had hoped for came about, but only in the morning sessions at Termas de Río Hondo. In fact, during the qualifiers that decided the starting grid order, the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders had to deal with conditions much like yesterday, with very little grip.

Despite the slippery asphalt, Stefan Bradl performed well in the qualifying session, managing to be incisive on the flying lap and earning the first spot on the sixth row. In addition to the final result, the time of just under two tenths that separated him from the second fastest time in Q1, which would have sent him through to Q2, is definitely worth a mention.

Alvaro Bautista was a bit farther back, unable to find the right feeling in the decisive laps, finishing on the seventh row. For the Spanish rider the goal for tomorrow will be to build on the hard work done thus far in terms of race pace.


“The qualifying did not go as I had hoped. This morning we made a few changes that I liked and I had a good pace. In FP4, on the other hand, with the higher temperature I couldn't find the same feeling. I struggled quite a bit with the rear and stability. I expected that I would be able to go faster in qualifying, but in any case we need to remember that we're discovering a new bike little by little so the sudden change in conditions between the morning and the afternoon created some problems for us. We have a lot of work left to do. The race is tomorrow and we need to improve the feeling as much as possible”.


“This was definitely the best day so far with the new RS-GP. We made a lot of progress compared to yesterday. We know we could be faster if we got all the small details sorted. It was in FP4 that we made took the important step forward, especially where the electronics are concerned and wit a change to the rear shock absorber. In the qualifiers our strategy of using two rear tyres paid off. I was able to get a good lap in. Now we just need to see what the decision will be for the tyres. We're quite ready, but if we're forced to use the hard tyre it would be a shame since we haven't tried it”.

Espargaro and Smith to leap forward from fourth row at Argentina Grand Prix

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro will charge from 10th on the grid after pulling off a resolute qualifying campaign at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo. The 25 year old started his day by just missing out on QP2 by 0.070, yet, he remained fully focused and leapt into gear when qualifying one began. Here, he confidently posted a best lap which clinched 2nd and saw him safely through to the proceeding shootout. When QP2 began, the Spaniard surged forward and after gathering pace, he eventually scored a time that left him only 0.382 from the second row.

Meanwhile, Bradley Smith will commence the second round of the 2016 World Championship two places behind his teammate after producing a determined effort in Argentina. The young Briton kicked off today by finishing FP3 in 13th, yet he forcefully topped the time sheets in Q1 with a time of 1'40.552 that allowed him to graduate straight through to the second practice. Here, Smith pushed onwards and set his personal best on the third lap, but his hopes of cutting this time further were halted when he fell at turn 1, in the final minutes of the session. However, the British star aims to undertake a rocket start tomorrow and join the battle for the top independent bike position in what will be a challenging race in the 25 lap Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina.

Pol Espargaro

Position : 10th Time : 1'40.654 Laps : 8

"Today I can’t be too pleased with the final result because we were aiming to qualify higher up the field, but at the end of the day, 10th is not bad when you consider how challenging the track was. Of course, if I set a lap time that was only one tenth quicker, I could have been on the row in front, which was my target, but a lot of riders crashed and the important thing for me is that I did not. It would have been very risky, so now we will have to make the most of it and move forward in the race tomorrow. For sure, many things will change; the grip as well as the temperature and 25 laps is a long time, therefore we will see what happens. However, we still have some more work to do and we will use the warm up to retest a few factors and then make a decision about the tyres. In any case, my aim remains to fight in and hopefully win the top independent bike battle."

Bradley Smith

Position : 12th Time : 1'40.893 Laps : 5

"All in all, it was a bit of a disappointing QP2 after the successful session that we had before. The team found a few small changes at the end of FP4 which we used in qualifying and which helped us to make a good step. I did a really good job in QP1, so I was confident for the later practice, but I didn’t get to take advantage of the hard rear tyre in the final part. This was due to the fact that I locked the front going into turn one. It’s not anyone’s fault but I was just trying to push a bit too hard and I lost the front. It’s a big shame because if we look at the ideal lap times from both qualifying sessions, it’s clear to see that we could have been on the third row, which would have made everything easier for the race. However, it didn’t happen so we must ensure that we get a good start. The GP will be long and the tyres will play a critical part, but above all, I must not make any mistakes and find a good rhyme to feel comfortable with as I want to finish strongly.”

Miller confident of strong race in Argentina

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller is confident he has the pace for a strong showing in tomorrow's Argentine Grand Prix, the second round of the MotoGP World Championship.

Despite the setback of two harmless crashes in qualifying Miller was again impressively fast on the 4.806 km Termas de Rio Hondo circuit with pace that threatens a top ten finish.

The 21-year-old Australian will start 15th on the grid with his rookie teammate Tito Rabat qualifying in 19th position.

Miller made a bold but unsuccessful bid to improve his time on his final qualifying run after being forced to switch to his spare bike which was not fitted with his ideal set-up.

Former Moto2 World Champion Rabat continued with his steady transition to MotoGP to beat his target time in qualifying. The Spanish rider qualified 4.8s faster than his best time in Friday's opening free practice session.

The forecast rain stayed away and the slightly cooler track conditions plus improved grip levels saw times tumble dramatically from the Friday free practice sessions.

Jack Miller: 15th - 1’40.881

“Despite the crashes the positive is that I have some really good speed so I'm confident of a strong run in the race. The second bike was set-up differently for the final practice session and when I switched to it after my first crash at turn one it was shaking like hell on my final lap. I was committed to a fast time but got on a dusty part of the track and used too much angle to get back to the racing line and went down."

Tito Rabat: 19th - 1’41.157

"I beat my target time in qualifying and I'm happy about that, it has been a very productive practice and qualifying because I improved my times in every session. Our focus was to work on race set-up in FP4 so I wasn't completely focussed on qualifying even though I improved my time. The Honda is working well here so I need to change my style more to take maximum profit from the bike. I hope to make another step in the race."

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal

“When Jack was on the bike he was always posting fast sector times and he had the opportunity to be in the top ten for the final qualifying session. But two crashes cost him and this is part of racing. It was good performance by Tito. We had a target of 1'41.2 and he did a 1'41.1 and he is getting closer to the front guys each day.”

Eighth place for Barbera and thirteenth for Baz in qualifying for the Grand Prix of Argentina

Positive qualifying sessions for the Avintia Racing riders, Hector Barbera and Loris Baz in Argentina. The Spaniard went straight to the Q2 after a strong performance on this morning FP3 where he was the fourth fastest rider. In the crucial 15 minutes Q2 session in afternoon, Barbera did a lap in 1’40.524 that gave him a spot in the third row of the grid for tomorrow’s race. A great performance from the Avintia Racing rider after suffering fever and treated with antibiotics during the last couple of days.

Loris Baz had also some symptoms this morning, but even so the Frenchman gave his best in the Q1 and missed the pass to the Q2 by just 0.029s. But he is happy because the 13th place, is his best qualifying performance since his debut in MotoGP last season.

Hector Barbera




“I’m very happy because I’ve been with flu and fever attacks since I arrive to Argentina, I’ve spend a lot of time in bed and taking antibiotic. So I have to say big tahnk you to the Medical Team. Once again we can see that the word team is really important in this championship and the doctors are a vital part inside the big MotoGP team. So they deserve a big credit, because without them, instead of eight on the grid, I should have been in my bed. We are in the third row like in Qatar, and I think is a great place to start the race tomorrow. The 25 laps will be hard because of the heat, but we are ready to fight.”

Loris Baz




“I missed a place in the Q2 by a very narrow margin, and right now I would like to give something more, but after what happened with Scott in the FP4 and because I have been feeling bad and treated with antibiotics from this morning, to get the 13th place is not so bad. In addition, this was my best qualifying result in MotoGP… To be in the Q2 was the target, but little by little we are getting there and recovering the feeling from the winter test. I’m happy because we made a step forward and the bike is working well here and we have a good pace for the race with the hard rear tyre. We will see tomorrow, but I think we can do a good race.”

Scary moment for Scott in FP4 at Termas de Rio Hondo. Pirro confident for the race

Octo Pramac Yakhnich Saturday at Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina he will be sadly remembered for the scary unexpected which involved Scott Redding.

In the second run of FP4 the British rider had to deal with a sudden problem with the rear tyre. Tv footage showed that the tread came away from the tyre, first destroying the rear of the Desmosedici GP and then hitting Scott’s back causing him visible bruising and abrasions.

The British rider managed to keep his nerve and was able to ride the bike off the track limiting the damage.

Michelin are making the required investigations in order to understand the causes of the problem.

This incident has obviously affected the Redding’s confidence as in Q1 he failed to make that small step that would allow him gain access to Q2. Scott finished 14th with a lap-time of 1'40.750 just 35 thousandths of a second behind the qualifying for the last Saturday’s round.

A round of applause goes to Michele Pirro who was able to complete a full day of intense activities having to deal with fatigue from the travel which saw him only arriving yesterday afternoon in Termas de Rio Hondo. Having finished on Thursday Ducati tests in Valencia, in fact, Pirro took off for Argentina and this morning was up on his Ducati Desmosedici GP to take part in FP3. Pirro was ranked 18th (1'41.116) by showing interesting things as evidenced by his ideal time of nearly half a second lower, and in the light of the first two free practice sessions that the Ducati test rider was forced to miss on Friday.

14th - Scott Redding


"It was not a good day for me since the beginning. The FP3 haven’t gone well. And when I began to glimpse the right path in FP4 it has come the problem. It was really scary. I felt chattering with the rear tyre then something hit me. I saw pieces of the bike fly anywhere. I thought the tire had exploded and I was getting ready for a nasty crash. But a few moments later I felt that the tyre working again as there was still air in. I managed to run off the track without falling and I feel lucky to be standing here to tell it. I went in Q1 determined but it is clear that my confidence, especially in that turn, wasn’t at the maximum. To be honest I feel good for tomorrow. This morning we struggled a lot but in the afternoon I was close the Q2 laptimes. Tomorrow will be a long race, if I can find consistency then everything will happen.

18th - Michele Pirro


First of all I want to thank the team who gave me a very competitive bike. And I'm sorry because I could have done a bit better. I expected a little more, but I could not make a complete good lap, as the ideal time shows. I am sorry because I would have been able to gain some position. I'm missing something, it is normal. But I hope to do a good race. I miss a little feeling because in Valencia I run with a different bike. We will try to check the data and make an improvement for tomorrow because I'm convinced he can do a good race.


It was a stop-start day of qualifying for the MotoGP riders at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina, with a couple of red flag incidents breaking up the normal flow of the day. Despite suffering his own crash during the final qualifying session, Cal Crutchlow still managed to slide his LCR Honda onto the third row of the grid in ninth place, and was positive about his chances in Sunday’s 25-lap shootout.

The British rider became one of eight different riders to fall foul of the tricky turn one, but after rushing back to the pits he powered on to improve his best lap time on his second bike, eventually stopping the clock in a time of 1’40.528. Crutchlow has high hopes of a decent result in Argentina, scene of his third-place in 2015.

#35 Cal Crutchlow – 9th (1’40.528)

“Today was quite a good day, but I’m a bit disappointed with my qualifying position. I felt that we actually had a really strong pace. I made a small mistake into turn one – I braked a little too late and it wasn’t possible to make the corner and unfortunately I crashed. That wasted some important time.”

“I went out after with the second bike which didn’t quite have the same feeling. It’s a little bit of a different bike and it just wasn’t quite the same as the other one. Overall though, I’m quite confident for tomorrow because we have a good pace and I feel good on the bike. I think a good result is possible, but we have to get away with the leaders.”

It was a stop-start day of qualifying for the MotoGP riders at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina, with a couple of red flag incidents breaking up the normal flow of the day. Despite suffering his own crash during the final qualifying session, Cal Crutchlow still managed to slide his LCR Honda onto the third row of the grid in ninth place, and was positive about his chances in Sunday’s 25-lap shootout.

The British rider became one of eight different riders to fall foul of the tricky turn one, but after rushing back to the pits he powered on to improve his best lap time on his second bike, eventually stopping the clock in a time of 1’40.528. Crutchlow has high hopes of a decent result in Argentina, scene of his third-place in 2015.

ASPAR riders looking to improve on Sunday

Eugene Laverty will start from the sixth row of the grid and Yonny Hernández will try to repeat his strong start at the GP of Qatar in front of the South American fans

The MotoGP action in Argentina on Saturday was interrupted twice by red flags, the first two of the season. The first pause came due to a problem with the rear tyre of Scott Redding, before uncertainty about the performance of the tyres at this tricky circuit led to another break a few minutes later. Spaniard Marc Márquez was the fastest in qualifying at the Autodromo de Termas de Rio Hondo, three tenths faster than any other rider on track. Next to him on the front row of the grid are Yamaha teammates Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, second and third respectively. The rain held off on Saturday but could make an appearance tomorrow.

The Aspar Team riders both struggled in Q1 to get the best grid spots for the race tomorrow. Eugene Laverty fell just over two tenths of a second short of making Q2. The Irishman had concluded the last free practice in 11th place but was not able to repat the result in qualifying. However, he is still confident of a good race pace. Meanwhile, Yonny Hernández suffered mechanical problems which prevented him from keeping up the pace he had shown during the last free practice session. However, the Colombian rider hopes to repeat his good start in the first GP of the season to put on a good show for the South American fans.

Eugene Laverty 17th 1’40.990: "The position is not fantastic but the lap times were really close. We know we have a good setting for the race because in FP4 I used the hard tyre and did a really good lap time, so hopefully we can finish much higher than seventeenth! It seems some other riders were able to gain more of an advantage than me with the soft tyre, so I am happy to use the hard tyre for the race - our performance is good."

Yonny Hernández 21st 1’41.692: "I'm disappointed because we had a good pace on used tyres in the final practice session and we were working hard, but things just didn’t go to plan. We had a problem with an engine and only had one bike working well for qualifying, but then we had another issue with the chain. In the end we will start from the last row, so I hope we can solve the mechanical problems and get a good start like in Qatar. I will try to recover all the positions I can in order to get into the points and have a good race."

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